Rethinking my professional strategy…going back to my roots

Rethinking my professional strategy…going back to my roots

If I had one piece of advice to give someone who wants to move to a new city, it would be “find a job first.” When I came out to Chicago over two years ago knowing only two people here, I had secured only a (very) part-time position, and planned to build my business with the rest of my time. It never occurred to me that two people probably wasn’t a sufficient network to do that.

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How race cancellations affect charities and what you can do to help

How race cancellations affect charities and what you can do to help

The Chicago Marathon became the latest casualty last week in a long list of canceled marathons in 2020. Anyone who didn’t see it coming was in denial. Although being realistic about it and being extremely disappointed aren’t mutually exclusive. 

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What is The Cause?

What is The Cause?

We often talk about the connection between mind and body – visualizing positive outcomes, training our minds, the importance of building “mental fortitude” – during our physical training. While it’s important to consider the connection between mind and body (being as well as doing) as we look to achieve our goals, another important consideration is the soul (or feeling).

And that’s where the “cause” comes in. A cause by definition is something that gives rise to action. A cause can be positive, negative, personal or philanthropic, but it’s ultimately what motivates us. Read more

A Request

A Request

I have procrastinated writing this blog in what was a busy and emotional week. On Sunday I volunteered at the New York City Marathon with members of my running club. Tuesday I voted. Wednesday I protested (more on that in my next post and please read that before expressing an opinion on why you think anyone should or shouldn’t be protesting). Last night I went to a fundraising gala in honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Volunteer Center of Bergen County. Which brings me to today. Veterans Day. So rather than reflecting on the results of the presidential election, the theme that has emerged is SERVICE.

“We can find meaning and reward by serving some higher purpose than ourselves, a shining purpose, the illumination of a Thousand Points of Light…We all have something to give.”

–  President George H. W. Bush, 1989 inaugural address

Giving of ourselves. Making an effort to help others. Advocating – and voting – for the world in which we want to live makes the world a better place and enriches our lives tremendously. My father served in the Army Air Corps during World War II. My late husband served in the Navy during the Beirut Conflict. Some form of service – to our county and to our community – is a necessary aspect of our lives as Americans. Not everyone does it. But everyone should.

People rely on others to be the active community investors. And thankfully there will always be those busy people who are willing to take on one more job, serve on one more non-profit board, coach one more team, and knock on one more door. But each and every one of us has a responsibility to be involved. We all have to stop assuming someone else will do it.

So here is my request…honor a veteran today by signing up to volunteer. And make a commitment to volunteering next week and next month and next year. Find a non-profit organization whose mission is meaningful to you; find a community organization that makes things better for your neighbors in need; run for public office; look to see what’s missing or needs to be fixed and be the answer. Stop waiting for someone else. And stop complaining about the results of other people’s volunteer service if you’re not serving yourself.

img_5323Sunrise on the Mile 21 Water Stop in Harlem. New York City Marathon. November 2016.

Races to Run – Summer 2016

Races to Run – Summer 2016

Last weekend I worked a 5k run for Tomorrow’s Children’s Fund of Hackensack University Medical Center. In the interest of full disclosure, I’m a paid employee hired by the race director, not a volunteer. But it is ultimately the expertise of paid staff that allows non profits to best utilize volunteers and create a professional event that participants come back to year after year. There are of course a lot of events that do not have paid staff, but in my opinion as a participant, the better organized events have some paid staff, at the very least a professional race director. Paid staff do a lot of these events. We know how to set-up and manage the flow of everything from registration to the finish line and awards ceremony. We train and lead volunteers so the event can run efficiently. When I organized my first charity 5k back in 1998 I had already participated in a number of road races, but really knew nothing about what happened behind the scenes. I hired a race director. And that event is still going strong. The 19th Annual Teterboro 5k is taking place in just two weeks. I will be there – as a participant. Below is the second installment of my quarterly list of road races for charity. This time I have included the cause on the list, so you don’t have to click through to find a charity you wish to support. Since its summer I included some races at the shore, too. This is by no means a compressive list. For moe information on races in your area go to USA Track and Field’s events calendar.

July 2016
7/03 Harbor Hustle, 5k Stone Harbor, for the benefit of Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer
7/04 Glen Rock Tribute Run, 5k Glen Rock, for the benefit of GRACE (Glen Rock Assistance Council & Endowment
7/10 Stone Harbor Fitness Challenge, 5k Stone Harbor, for the benefit of Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer
7/16 Teterboro Airport 5k, Moonachie, for the benefit of Bergen County’s United Way
7/16 Boomer’s Cystic Fibrosis Run to Breath, 4 miles Central Park, for the benefit of the Boomer Espason Foundation
7/27 Downtown Westfield 5k, Westfield, benefitting Downtown Westfield Corporation
7/31 Al Mackler Cancer Foundation Race, 5k Atlantic City Boardwalk, for the benefit of the Mackler Cancer Foundation
August 2016
8/04 Toys for Tots 5k Run, Colonia, for the benefit of Central Jersey Toys for Tots
8/07 Flat Rock Brook 5k Run in the Wild, Englewood, for the benefit of Flat Rock Brook Nature Center
8/14 Stone Harbor Surf and Turf 5-miler, Stone Harbor, for the benefit of Alex’s Lemonade Stand for Childhood Cancer
8/20 Chickie’s and Pete’s Boardwalk Run, Atlantic City Boardwalk, for the benefit of Archway Schools
8/20 CASA Superhero 4 Miler, Garret Mountain Reservation, Woodland Park, for the benefit of Court Appointed Special Advocates
8/21 Midland Avenue Road Mile, Montclair, for the benefit of the Montclair Public Library
September 2016
9/03 5k Run/Walk for Warmth, Bloomfield, for the benefit of Spread the Purple
9/10 The 4 Miler at Garret Mountain, Woodland Park for the benefit of St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital
9/24 Haworth 5k Run/Walk, Haworth for the benefit of Haworth Road Runners Association donations to local non-profits
9/25 Steeple Chase Distance Run, 5k & 10k Hillsborough for the benefit of Steeple Chase Cancer Center of Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital

Looking ahead to October, AliveAndKickn (who I introduced you to in March) is officially gearing up for the Get Your Rear in Gear 5k race in NYC on Sunday, October 23rd.  For more information or to run for and/or donate to Team AliveAndKickn, please go here.

Paid event staff are the first to arrive and watch the sun rise on the event.

IMG_4270Overpack County Park, Ridgefield Park, NJ June 2016